Blue Is the Warmest Colour: Reviewed
Despite all the hype (both negative and positive) surrounding this year’s Palme D’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour, it would be difficult to say the film isn’t incredible.
The performances are stunning, emotionally raw and so utterly believable and the story is touching, involving and relatable (whatever your sexuality).
While there has been talk of the director forcing the actresses to do scenes over and over, imposing a bad working environment upon them, for me this is not visible during the film.
The acting is flawless and natural and as such, despite the bad experience the actresses (who are now reluctant to comment after their initial comments caused controversy) may have had, the directing is fantastic.
Many have also commented that the director’s male eye is present in the film (to say it another way, it was shot from a heterosexual male view point on lesbianism), but I think there is passion in the lens; it is a sympathetic, passionate viewpoint that engages the audience in the love story. It is not voyeuristic but it is involved.
One of the most talked about points regarding the film is the 15-minute sex scene. Frequently critiqued for being over the top, I felt in the context of the film it works.
It shows the overflowing passion between Emma and Adele, the feelings and urges Adele has suppressed until this point, and the start of a great romance.
It is not only its length and graphic content that has been critiqued; it is also being argued that it is not ‘accurate’. But let’s be honest there is no one type of sex, in any sexuality, every couple, and every person does things differently!
It is a love story, not a gay love story.
Sexuality is not the issue, and while the film does have moments specific to homosexuality (being outed to friends, keeping the relationship from workmates etc.) it is refreshingly not focused on the issue of sexuality.
The film shies away from the conflicts faced by the LGBT community more than the graphic novel and in this way the two differ significantly, and for me, each work for their given medium.
As an adaptation, the film has taken a simple and impossibly powerful story, simplified it further, drawn it out over three hours (although admittedly to me it didn’t feel like a three hour film), and taken out some of the most significant and emotional points of the graphic novel.
As a film it is stunning, as an adaptation, it is disappointing.
I would urge you to read the graphic novel, whether you have seen the film or not.
It is a powerful love story that is guaranteed to stay with you beyond the last page.
The film, however, is impossible to compare to the graphic novel as the stance the two take is completely different.
As a true lover of the graphic novel I found it hard to disconnect the film from the original text.
But I think it is necessary in order to truly appreciate the film for what it is:
emotional, powerful, and intense.
Anne Loveday is a film student who is obsessed with questioning what culture teaches and tells us, particularly about the concept of normality.
In short, a film-loving, open-water-swimming, culture-obsessed, music addict.